Genomic characterisation of epigenetic regulators involved in X inactivation

Genomic characterisation of epigenetic regulators involved in X inactivation

Project details

A major stumbling block to understanding epigenetic control is that we do not know the identity of all of the factors involved in epigenetic control. Therefore, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of epigenetic control will necessarily be incomplete.  

To address this we are performing in vitro screens using our bespoke shRNA library against ~1100 known or potential epigenetic modifiers to identify new roles for known players plus uncharacterised epigenetic modifiers. Our primary screen utilises novel embryonic stem cells to rapidly analyse X inactivation, as a model epigenetic system.  

Projects are available that are based on using genomics and imaging to study new hits for their role in X inactivation, and more broadly in pluripotency, development and disease. 

 

About our research group

We study how genes are turned on and off, a process called epigenetic modification that is critical for development. The DNA of a fertilised egg contains all the information to form an adult. Proteins called epigenetic modifiers turn different genes on and off throughout development. Disease can occur if this process fails. 

Despite their importance, most human epigenetic modifiers likely remain unknown. Our lab is identifying potential new epigenetic modifiers. This is revealing the role of epigenetics in development and disease. Our ultimate aim is to develop treatments for disease that manipulate epigenetic modifiers.  

Our lab comprises postdoctoral fellows, research assistants and students. Each project tends to involve both staff and students working collaboratively using genomics, imaging and molecular biology. 

 

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Animation still showing X inactivation

WEHI.TV animation: X inactivation is a vital process that occurs in all DNA-containing cells of the female body. It is also an important research model and tool for studying epigenetics.